Women’s Tennis battles for playoff spot
The Carroll University women’s tennis team wasted no time starting their season. They rolled over Wisconsin Lutheran College with a 9-0 victory in their home opener. Head Coach Al Pruefer credits the shutout to a very good preseason and the ability to start practicing five days earlier this year.
Going into their match against UW-Steven’s Point, the ladies kept their spirit although they fell to the Pointers 1-8.
They put up a good fight but the only one to walk away with a win for the team was freshman Kate Rasmussen who battled in the number three singles spot. Rasmussen went 7-6 (7-2) and pulled it together to shut out her opponent Emily Riordan 6-0.
“We tried some new things but I really have to credit their team. We were able to try some new things and some new combinations to prepare for Lawrence”, said Coach Pruefer. The Pointers went on to win four straight and are currently 6-2 overall.
The Lady Pioneers did not let that loss slow them down though. They battled their way to victory in their first Midwest Conference match this season at Lawrence University. The team lost to Lawrence last year 2-7 keeping them away from the conference playoffs by one match. It was a team effort to show them this year that they were ready to put up a fight and are not going to back down without the conference title.
Freshman Alyssa Larson has been a great new addition to the team. She is playing number one singles and holding her own, taking on some of the top competitors in the Division III. Larson put up a great fight against Elizabeth Larson who went 20-1 overall last season. Alyssa Larson took the match to a super tiebreaker but ending up falling 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-3).
Rasmussen once again had a pivotal win for the team in the conference match and then teamed up with Alyssa Larson to really crush Katherine Valde and Elizabeth Byers 8-1 at no. 2 doubles.
In one of the most important matches of the season, the Pioneers were ready to face St. Norbert. Coach Pruefer stated, “We already have one in our pocket,” referring to their big win against Lawrence, “we’re coming for the other.” Despite their preparations, the Green Knights showed up to play a tough game. They took the Pioneers 8-1 with the sole win coming from Junior, Elissa McKinley. She dominated her opponent Anna Reardon 6-1, 6-0. Captain Samantha Bachmann took her match to three sets and lost in a super tie breaker 10-7.
The Concordia University (WI) Falcons came to town on September 18. The Lady Pios won five singles matches as they marched to a 7-2 non-conference victory.
The following Sunday, Carroll entertained Marian University. In a hotly contested match Carroll was able to emerge triumphant 5-4. The win puts them at 1-1 in Midwest Conference North Division play and 4-2 overall.
The Lady Pioneers have the most members this year than they ever have and the players are all pushing each other to have a great season. “The chemistry of the team is really good right now,” Coach Pruefer says, “Little steps lead to big steps. It is still a young season but time will tell.”
Being led by Senior and 4th year player Samantha Bachmann, they have an experienced leader to keep them going. As Bachmann finished the season a perfect 13-0. She is an outstanding player that is surely to contribute to the team’s success this season not only as captain but as a competitor.
Though it is early in the season, the Lady Pioneers are ready to take on their competition.